Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Multiples up the ante with more promotional activity this month

Published: 12 February 2010
In a bid to get consumers spending again Tile Depot launches BOGOF deal, while B&Q, Focus, Wickes and Homebase, offer as much as 70% off kitchens and bathrooms.
Multiples up the ante with more promotional activity this month
Following what has been described as the weakest January in 15 years, the UK's biggest DIY chains have slashed their prices this month in an attempt to get customers out and spending on discretionary items again.

As well as its newly launched Value range, with tools as low as 99p, Homebase is offering half price kitchens and 40% off bathrooms. On top of that, the Home Retail Group-owned chain is running an 'extra 10% off' two-day sale in store and online until midnight Saturday, Feb 13.

Tile Depot is launching its first 'buy one get one free' promotion on February 22. The deal, which includes a selection of its porcelain and natural stone tiles, is likely to run throughout March and April.

Meanwhile B&Q is offering half price power tools, including Makita cordless drills, as well as 50% off its Cooke & Lewis bathroom range, shower enclosures and kitchen doors and drawer fronts. There are additional discounts on fencing and fires and surrounds.

Wickes is also offering up to 50% off kitchens and bathrooms, as well as 33% off tiles and real-wood flooring.

But Focus has to top the bill with 70% off kitchen and bathroom ranges and up to 50% off furniture and laminate flooring. Further discounts include 10% off doors and windows until the end of the months and a'3 for 2' deal on Dulux coloured emulsion.

Heavy snowfall and the VAT hike saw sales in January fall 0.7% on a like-for-like basis, while BRC director general Stephen Robertson explained that, "furniture and DIY were worst hit as customers put off buying non-essentials".

The latest round of heavy discounting would suggest that retailers are trying to claw back sales lost from last month and tempt shoppers back into their stores. Earlier this week it was widely reported that Focus DIY had requested a seven-day payment holiday for rent due for January and February. The clause was written in as part of the retail chain's CVA, which was passed in August last year.

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